Michigan State swept the season series against Rutgers with a 2-0 victory on Sunday afternoon, its fifth straight victory.
MSU (21-24, 7-11 B1G) had three base hits and a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning, which was all they needed behind senior pitcher Kristina Zalewski, who picked up the complete-game victory to improve to 12-10 overall.
Lea Foerster had a solo homer in the top of the first, and Kelcey Cararasco had an RBI single.
Rutgers starting pitcher Whitney Jones tossed a complete game, allowing three first-inning hits but denying MSU another base hit for the balance of the game. Hailey Hoklotubbe went 2-for-3 for the visitors (17-30, 2-15 Big Ten). Sierra Maddox also went 2-for-2.
The Spartans have one home game remaining, a Wednesday contest against archrival Michigan.
· Lea Foerster hit a solo homer in the top of the first, was hit by a pitch, .
· Kristina Zalewski earned the complete-game win with five strikeouts and two walks, scattering seven hits.
“I was a little disappointed by how quiet our offense went after the first inning today, but Kristina Zalewski was on lockdown – she worked out of jams and kept Rutgers off the scoreboard. It was nice to be able to string some home games together with decent weather this week, and an added bonus that we won them all. Every game for us coming up is critical – we need to be in postseason mode since we’re battling for playoff position.”
Head Coach Jacquie Joseph
STATS AND STORYLINES
· The Spartans came out swinging in the first. Lea Foerster led off the game with a bomb to center field for a 1-0 lead. McKenzie Long reached on an error, and then Rutgers committed a second error trying to pick her off first. Kelcey Carrasco then brought home Long on an RBI single.
· In the top of the fifth, the Scarlet Knights tried to get a rally going with one out, getting back-to-back singles from Jess Hughes and Hailey Hiklotubbe. Zalewski worked out of the jam, and did so again in the sixth when she allowed a pair of base hits but stranded the runners.
· Rutgers had baserunners in every inning, stranding a total of 10 on the day.
· Rutgers hurler Whitney Jones allowed the Spartans three base hits in the first inning, but then denied the MSU offense another hit for the rest of the day. . She walked three and struck out one.
· MSU has won five straight games, its second-longest winning streak of the season. The Spartans are now 7-4 at home in 2018.
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